April, 2009 Archive
Well that was fun! Alex and I arrived at the ranch Friday afternoon after a shockingly non-grueling travel experience (save the 10-minute pat down I received at La Guardia because of this newfangled thing called underwire. Really!) and at least an hour and a half in the car of me going “ooh horsies!” “and cows!” “neeeigh! mooo!” “ooh dirt roads!” and Alex mumbling something like “my god this is going to be a long drive.”
I wish I could tell you that the last meal cooked in the first Smitten Kitchen was a triumph, a fitting coda to four-plus years in a sun-drenched Manhattan kitchen with enough space to put everything away (not that I’m pointing fingers or anything, new kitchen) and space enough for two people (and at least one growing midsection) to settle comfortably within it. Alas, that was not the case.
Wow, people, just wow. I expected a few baby squish, cow country and dishwasher-crazed compatriots out there to squeal with excitement when we shared our news but nothing, nothing like this. You are the nicest group of readers a girl could ever hope for and you make it so much fun to share bits of our lives, and tiny kitchen, with you. Thank you.
Friends, we have so much catching up to do. I promised before I went to the Bahamas that when I got back, I’d have some cool stuff to share, but somehow it is over four weeks later and we are really overdue for a pow-wow. Plus, it’s Tax Day and I’ve been moping around all week with my pockets inside out since I was presented with a bill with an impossible number of zeros after it, and hey, wouldn’t we all rather focus on the cheerful stuff? Of course. So without further ado:
I think that gratins get a bad rap. I mean, if you’re ordering them in restaurants, swimming in layers of triple creams and crusted with four different varieties of cheese, they might even (most deliciously) deserve it. But after coming home from the farmers’ market in our new neighborhood (!) last weekend with potatoes and shiitakes and no real inkling of what I wanted to do with them, I turned to Alice Wates — her books are increasingly become my cooking bibles these days — and realized that something I’d never much associated with easy, light meals, a gratin, was exactly what was in order.